Young, Mark S. and Stanton, Neville A.
Back to the future: Brake reaction times for manual and automated vehicles
Ergonomics, 50, (1), . (doi:10.1080/00140130600980789).
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Rear-end collisions are often quoted as being a major cause of road traffic accidents. In response to this, a great deal of ergonomics research effort has been directed towards the analysis of brake reaction times. However, the engineering solution has been to develop advanced systems for longitudinal control, which, it is argued, will mitigate the problem of rear-end collisions. So far, though, there have been few empirical studies to determine how brake reaction times will be affected by such vehicle automation. This paper presents a literature review summarizing the current state of knowledge about driver responses in non-automated vehicles. The review covers driver factors, vehicle factors and situational factors. Following the review, some empirical data are presented from a driving simulator experiment assessing brake reaction times of skilled and unskilled drivers under two different levels of automation. When compared to previous data gathered during manual driving, there seems to be a striking increase in reaction times for these automated conditions. Implications for the design and safety of automated vehicle systems are discussed.
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